A new period of real demand
By Ben Brocklesby, director at Origin.
As we enter into March, there is real reason for optimism. Firstly, it is great to see the country in such a strong position in the fight against the Covid pandemic; times have been hard, times have been tough, but there is now starting to be light at the end of the tunnel. If we keep pushing forward, we will get through it together.
Secondly, with March comes a clock change, signalling that summer is on its way. Cue celebrations all round.
From a business perspective, March is a tipping point in terms of consumer interest. It means that people will start to look at ways of improving their homes for the summer ahead, with ‘letting more light in’ always topping the list. This shift brings with it a rise in interest in our bifold and patio doors and windows. It is a fantastic time of year.
We have seen demand change dramatically over the last 12 months, and not for the worse as many of you might expect. When restrictions were first eased, we experienced a period of pent-up demand. Construction companies and house builders were playing catch up on unfinished projects, while consumers, who were spending more time than ever in their homes, wanted a change. This unplanned and, in many cases unforeseen, demand left some door and window companies unable to operate. So attention turned to us.
Fortunately for us, our unique manufacturing processes, which pre-Covid-19 enabled us to deliver bespoke products in just 24 hours of ordering, were able to be adjusted to accommodate a skeleton staff and social distancing the moment restrictions eased. In order to return to our pre-Covid levels, the factories changed from a single shift to a two-shift pattern, which got us up to full capacity quickly so customers could rely on us to support them so they’d never miss an install.
Now, as we welcome March, this pent-up demand is tailing off, and we are moving into a period of real demand, which we don’t envisage will slow down, certainly in the medium term. This is an exciting prospect for us and the industry.
So, for those that were able to navigate through the uncertainty, the opportunities are now there for the taking. Our bold business decision to grow even during lockdown has set us on a good path, allowing us to continue innovating and supporting our existing partners, while bringing new partners on board.